Moving between countries is nothing compared to what I had to go through this time. I can definitely say that this was the most difficult move in my life so far.
The trouble started early on: we clearly underestimated the time it would take to pack everything. Things just tend to accumulate overtime. Now, my things didn’t take too much space: only about 35 small boxes most of which consisted of books, notes, and scientific articles. Luckily, my brother didn’t have many things.
It was an interesting experience going over my old papers because it reminded me of good times and people I worked and studied with over the years. I tried to throw away as many old things as possible, but I did keep some of the papers such as my notes and perfect test scores from the classes where I was the best student.
We had to work all night to pack everything in time. Our stuff filled a huge truck, and I was exhausted by the end of the night. My body ended up with several bruises and more than a dozen cuts. Then we traveled several days by car to our new home. By traveling across the US one can see many interesting subtle differences. Sometimes the landscape changes dramatically and in other cases you wouldn’t even know that you are in another state.
Throughout the trip we ate relatively inexpensive food. My family always makes fun of me when we are traveling at a long distance because I am a vegetarian. Finding vegetarian food on the road can be difficult, so they say that I have to eat meat to survive lol This trip was fine though. I ate chow mein among other things at every stop to compare the flavor in different regions – it tasted amazing in one place, but was quite bad in another one closer to Mordor 😛
Unloading the truck is much easier than loading because you don’t have to think about the positioning. It took us about eight hours to unload everything. Then moving the furniture and boxes to the rooms took sometime, and unpacking… well, unpacking is still in progress 😛
The place is quite nice though, if you stay inside that is 😛 For the first few days it felt quite weird. I am not used to living in an area where palms naturally grow outside – it felt kind of like a vocation. It is sunny all the time, and it gets very hot during the day. Rain comes by rarely, but when it does, you better get ready for over 100 km/hour
winds 😛 I do prefer such a whether over bipolar snow/rain episodes in the North. Also the sunsets are absolutely amazing from my window :3
Scouting the area revealed a nice small lake several miles in perimeter – just perfect for running 🙂 “Beware of the Snakes” signs make me wake up faster on my early morning runs 😛 I don’t run regularly right now though because my old back injury acquired in high school while playing sports is saying hi again due to all the heavy box lifting and furniture moving I endured over the last couple of weeks.
Setting up internet took several weeks because the staff and customer service of this company is quite bad. The set up required several steps and they made some kind of error on every one of them. Fortunately, everything was resolved eventually. I missed reading blogs and interacting with people, but living without internet had some positive sides. I rarely watch TV, but now I found some interesting channels with a new service. Here is a brief description of what I was able to catch over these few weeks.
One show on National Geographic channel depicted the change of seasons in the Yellowstone Park focusing on various animals. I especially liked foxy hunting :3
One of the fascinating yet dangerous phenomena in Yellowstone is snow in Summer. This is a clip from the film that I saw:
Also I caught several interesting episodes on the History channel. One show depicted Celtic culture. It was quite interesting to see how they developed fascinating designs inspired by the Greek art. Of course, one of the most fascinating examples of art is the Book of Kells written by Celtic monks.
Some rituals such as Wicker Man human sacrifice were quite scary.
The program highlighted some of the great battles of the time. One of the most interesting examples was the Battle of Alesia where Julius Caesar (60 000) won against confederation of Gallic tribes (250 000) united under the leadership of Vercingetorix by building excellent fortifications.
Also I was impressed by the story of Boudica. When Boudica’s husband, king Prasutagus died, the kingdom was annexed, Boudica was beaten and flogged, her daughters, aged 10 and 14, were raped. The queen lead the rebellion against the Romans and they destroyed Camulodunum, but, unfortunately, her army (230 000) was no match for well-armed Romans (10 000) and their excellent positioning at the Battle of Watling Street. “The Romans killed not only the warriors but also the women, children, and even pack animals. Tacitus says that according to one estimate, 80,000 Britons fell compared to only 400 Romans.”
Speaking of great women in history, I discovered a excellent channel that I watch everyday now – CCTV. One of the first documentaries I watched was about Wang Zhaojun who facilitated peace and culture exchange in the ancient China. You can watch this program online.
Also I got a taste of Kunqu by watching this documentary about Cai Zhengren:
Well, what can I say… It is nice, but, although not directly comparable, I definitely prefer Noh 😛
The most interesting program on CCTV for me is definitely New Frontiers (you can watch some episodes online) because it explores the history of ancient China, highlighting the achievements of the major dynasties. Although I knew some facts, I learned quite a bit and enjoyed watching ancient artifacts and 3D reconstructions of the events. Especially interesting for me were the development of calligraphy and scientific discoveries. It is fascinating how much people accomplished in the ancient times with limited technologies.
The series of programs I watched on the Military Channel was about Battle of Midway (Commanders at War, Battlefields) depicted quite a detailed account of the events that took place in the Pacific. Partial breaking of JN-25, excellent damage mitigation on American ships, and right timing of SBD Dauntless attack on Japanese carriers with airplanes still on board helped to achieve the victory.
Unfortunately, only a few days later 88-year-old Holocaust denier opened fire and killed a guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC … We still have a long way to go…
Well, that is a brief summary of some of the events that happened to me over the last few weeks. I am still getting settled, but I will reply to your comments, read your blogs, and catch up with my coverage soon.